The local church is the hope of the world. We especially believe this is true for the next generation. Every spring we have our Battle of the Sexes retreat (BOTS) where teenagers set aside time to seek God by understanding the importance of purity, dating, and relationships. This is one of the most stressful and confusing issues for young people today. But when they get in this environment and experience God’s love something radical happens. Kendyl’s story is just one example of many. Take a look as she describes, in her own words, how one weekend changed her life.

“In my early high school years I was living what was considered a “normal” high school lifestyle…drinking, doing drugs recreationally, making poor choices in my relationships with boys. I knew my choices were out of character for me and after years of living this way I was exhausted.

I finally hit rock bottom when I was 16 years old.

While at a party, the police showed up and I was confronted with a minor in consumption charge. Later that night as I was reflecting on everything that had happened, I felt a voice (now I know it was the Holy Spirit) telling me that this was my moment to make a change in my life. It was my “line in the sand” moment.

So the next day, I texted my one friend who didn’t drink, and asked her to check out churches with me. I just assumed that to “get good” or “get better,” I could go to church. Good people went to church. 

I was looking to get “better,” but I found so much more than I bargained for.

After coming to Elevate on a Wednesday night, I met Pastor Tyron and he answered every question that I had. Pastor Tyron invited me to come back the next weekend to attend their Battle of the Sexes retreat—and by some miracle, I actually did it!

I attended the weekend with my friend and connected to a leader and a group of other girls my age. I gave my heart and life to Jesus the first night and never turned back. I received forgiveness and restoration for the choices I had made and started my relationship with Jesus!

This was the moment that changed the trajectory of my life forever.

Wednesday nights at Elevate are amazing, but God does something at a retreat that’s unlike anything else. Concentrated time in the presence of God without distractions and in the company of peers and leaders is a game changer. I’m so grateful that I made the choice to go to BOTS in 2009. My life is forever changed!”

— Kendyl Shaw

Fast forward 10 years; now Kendyl is on staff at Milestone and leading our Next Gen worship environments. She’s raising up other young leaders to help students encounter Jesus in environments like BOTS. Real life change is what it’s all about! You are never too broken, too far, or too young for God to use you. Click here to get registered for BOTS and find out more about Milestone’s student ministry. 

13 thoughts on “The Moment Kendyl’s Life Changed Forever

  1. Kendyl is the real deal! What an awesome story of God’s faithfulness. Can’t wait to see what stories come out of BOTS this year.

  2. Do everything short of sin to get your kids to BOTS. Weekends like these have the power to change lives forever. Events and sports will eventually fade – you won’t regret it!

  3. Love your story, Kendyl! So thankful for your heart for young people.
    It’s amazing what God can do in one weekend at a retreat!

  4. A moment in the presence of Jesus is a game changer!
    Kendyl is the real deal, sold out living the best life NOW. She is LIVING this out ~ pouring into our daughter and many other students.
    It’s bigger than us, there is a great big world out there and we get to make a difference!
    Powerful testimony. Pure beauty and Joy!
    I am very proud of you, Kendyl!!
    If you have a student get them into our Elevate student ministry!!

  5. Wow this is incredible. Kendyl, thank you for sharing this story! I’m so grateful for a church who prioritizes reaching the Next Generation!

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. I absolutely love your smile & enthusiasm. I’m the “older” lady that says there’s my favorite singer when I see you.

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